In this 5-part blog series I am revisiting my 5 key coaching strategies which are the foundation for my new HOME COACHING VIDEOS! The videos (to be released in November) help YOU build vital skills that dramatically improve your ability to deal with all that diabetes throws at you. It is more than just diet and exercise. Diabetes impacts every area of your life, you need skills for body, mind and soul!
Living with diabetes means you are processing enormous amounts of information every day. Things like how you feel, what you are eating, how much activity you are doing, if you are thirsty, how much energy you have, are you sweaty, when is your next meal, how much medication do you have left, where are your supplies, how are you going to pay for all this, when is your next doctor visit, what people notice about you, what is my blood sugar, is this my mood or my sugar, when do I need to check next, how does my site look, and on and on and on. And this is just in YOUR head! It can be all consuming and overwhelming.
At some point, we need to share some of this with other people and that can be hard for many of us. It’s hard when our blood sugar is normal, and crazy difficult when it is too high or too low. What you share and how you share it predicts how it will be received and how others will relate to you. It can be the difference maker in relationships with spouse, provider, co-workers, friends and family. If done well, there is understanding and a sense of connection, but if done poorly it can be disastrous!
Communication is a skill. Just like learning to skate, throw a ball or do a back flip, it takes practice. And without putting forth a bit of effort to master a skill, the results you get might not get you where you want to be. What you wanted to communicate and what actually transpired can be vastly different resulting in major miscommunication. In the diabetes world, it can leave you feeling misunderstood, with a wrong treatment options, or at odds with someone you want to be close to.
For most people, the default communication strategies are needs and reactions. As children we learn to tell people what we need or want, and react to what they say or do. It’s pretty simple stuff. Unfortunately, life (and people) are never that simple. If you never learn more strategic and intentional ways of receiving and sharing information, you communication (and relationships) will be limited.
Healthcare is predicated on the sharing of vital information between you and your providers. When you live with a chronic illness, it is even more imperative that accurate information flow between you and your providers. Sometimes the truth is hard to share if we feel embarrassed or ashamed of our blood sugars or ability to live up to treatment expectations. Or perhaps you have heard it all before and feel it isn’t worth the effort to tell them again. Maybe you just want to get your prescription and get the heck out of there! I can relate to each of these scenarios very well! Been there. Done that.
But what if your frustration or your provider’s lack of understanding is more about misinformation, than willful disregard? Could it be that a few new communication skills could help you, help yourself? Both in my healthcare experience and in the corporate environment, I learned vital tactics that improved how I manage diabetes. It all starts with a better understanding of where you want to be and intentional strategies to get you there. Perhaps some new information
If you are feeling stuck in a ‘diabetes rut’ maybe it’s your communication skills that need a little polish and shine? There are several ways to take your next step!
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